Forward planning

The Government's National Planning Policy Framework is clear about the role that sport plays in delivering sustainable communities

Working with the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and through promoting health and wellbeing, we wish to see local planning policy protect, enhance and provide for sports facilities based on robust and up-to-date assessments of need, as well as helping to realise the wider benefits that taking part in sport can bring.

Delivering sound policies

Sound policy can only be developed by objectively assessing needs, which in turn is used to inform the development of a strategy for sport and recreation. Policies which protect, enhance and provide for sports facilities should reflect this work, and be the basis for consistent application through development management.

Download our forward planning guide

We are not prescriptive on the precise form and wording of policies, but advise that a stronger plan will result from taking a clearly justified and positive approach to planning for sport.

A stronger plan will result from taking a clearly justified and positive approach to planning for sport

In this way, planning authorities will be able to demonstrate that their plan has been:

  • Positively prepared – based on objectively assessed needs
  • Is consistent with national policy – reflecting the NPPF
  • Is justified – having considered alternatives
  • Is effective – being deliverable.

Without such attention, there is a risk that a local plan or other policy document could be considered unsound.